New Lessons in How Students Learn Online
Studying how people learn and finding new ways to teach more effectively to them online and in a classroom can be very valuable. One major reason for this is mainly because of the popular use of MOOCs, or massive open online courses. These courses are a new species of free classes that many prestigious universities are starting to offer online. Now even if someone isn't able to get into Harvard or Yale, there's a good chance that they can still learn something from a few of the classes that are available there if the classes are offered as MOOCs online. This allows for students everywhere to have access to instructors and education that they previously would have never had a chance to get involved with otherwise.
There are a lot of people who feel that online classes are better options for them. One reason is because they are flexible. For someone with a busy schedule and a demanding lifestyle, it may be difficult to get into the traditional class schedule that's associated with earning a degree. For the online learner, this is more convenient because they have the ability of being able to go to school and study whenever it's the most comfortable for them, whether that's early in the morning or in the middle of the night. For those who have problems with being able to focus in a classroom setting or individuals who feel as if they are able to study easier when they are on their own, this allows them to be an independent learner and take responsibility for their own education.
Some people like MOOCs specifically because it means that there's a better chance that they can interact with students from a variety of backgrounds and lifestyles. This can be ideal for those classes where students have to work together on discussion boards and talk about their different perspectives. It provides students with the opportunity to be able to learn about topics of the views of other people. Although most MOOCs are not able to provide any type of class credit, it helps them because they have access to a form of education that they usually wouldn't be privy to at all. Many people enroll in these courses just because they want to be able to get instruction from a well known expert or instructor on a topic that they've always been curious about.
There are a lot of people who feel that MOOCs are too unorganized compared to traditional online courses. These individuals cite that while online learning is a great option, it doesn't work well in MOOCs because the instructors can't provide individualized support to their students. The students suffer in this regard because they don't have an instructor that can provide them with clarification and guidance when they have questions. However, there are many who believe that MOOCs are the next wave of education. Although they may need a lot of changes, they prove that education can exist outside of a classroom.
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